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$1 million donation from Culvers gives Sauk City library a new home


April 18, 2019

Kara OKeeffe

The Straight Forward building at 615 Phillips Boulevard will be the new home of the Sauk City Public Library.

The Sauk City Public Library will soon call 615 Phillips Blvd home after a $1 million donation from the Craig C. Culver Family Foundation.

"The Library Board was looking into acquiring the 615 Phillips Boulevard Property," said Ben Miller, Sauk City Library Board President. "Turns out Craig Culver placed an offer on the building and he would like to donate $1 million towards the acquisition."

According to Miller, the plan is that the Craig C. Culver Family Foundation will donate the $1 million and also assign the offer to the Village of Sauk City to purchase the property and the Village would come up with the remainder of the purchase price to use that space as the new Sauk City Public Library. The Library has funds to renovate the space, bring it up to code and do minor renovations.

"We are all very appreciative to Craig Culver and the Culver Foundation," said Miller. "I think this is going to be great for the community at large to have this kind of a place. It's very awe inspiring, the way the history of the building has been preserved."

Emily Judd, director for the Sauk City Public Library said, "We will be able to offer the community with what we have been wanting to, more space for programming and private study rooms."

"This is an opportunity to really bring the community into the library," continued Miller. "We will be able to do things in a new way but retain the history of the community and be in a welcoming and historic building."

The library is planning on closing on the property by the end of April and then they will need to do some studies to figure out what type of work needs to be done to bring it up to code. "We will need to plan and figure out how to bring the least amount of disruption of service for the public," said Miller.

Miller did say that the library board did debate about moving away from downtown but ultimately decided that this new location is more central and with the bike path running directly behind it makes it easily accessible from downtown as well as those living on the other side of Phillips Boulevard.

Sauk City Village board president, Jim Anderson said, "As far as the donation goes, the Culver family has always been a great asset to the community. The [Culver] family is at the top for promoting the Villages of Sauk City and Prairie du Sac as much as anybody has in this community, it's a wonderful donation."

The Library wants to involve and get input from the community with this new space. "Once we have an architect look at it and start giving us ideas, we want create an opportunity for the public to come in and comment and let us know what they are expecting and see how we can meet the needs of the community," said Miller.

Both the Sauk City Public Library and the Sauk City Village Board at their respective meetings approved Resolution 2019-3, donation from Craig C. Culver Family Foundation towards acquisition of 615 Phillips Blvd. for a new library building and on assignment of offer to purchase from Craig Culver to the Village of Sauk City.

The current library building will remain Village property.


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